Thursday, July 21, 2011

Quotes for the Orphan...

Some of my favorite quotes:

I have come to realize more and more that the greatest disease and the greatest suffering is to be unwanted, unloved, uncared for, to be shunned by everybody, to be just nobody (to no one). 
Mother Teresa 

What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us. What we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.
Albert Pine

"If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one." -Mother Teresa

"I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples." -Mother Teresa

"I'd like to ask God why He lets poverty and injustice exist, why there are so many orphans and why He does nothing about it, but I am afraid He would ask me the same question." - Unknown

"As one person I cannot change the world, but I change the world of one person." - Paul Shane Spear

It’s easy to make a buck. It’s a lot tougher to make a difference.
Tom Brokaw

I hope you will judge yourselves not on your professional accomplishments alone, but also on how well you have addressed the world’s deepest inequities…on how well you treated people a world away who have nothing in common with you but your humanity.
Bill Gates

 It is not only for what we do that we are held responsible, but also for what we do not do. 

What is the use of living if it be not to strive for noble causes and to make this muddled world a better place for those who will live in it after we are gone?
- Winston Churchill

Life's most persistent and urgent question is: what are you doing for others?                                          - Martin Luther King Jr.

Accomplishment is when you use your extra strength to help someone else, rather than to get to the top first.
- Donald Ernest Mansell

If you are not poor enough to take charity, you are rich enough to give it.
- Unknown

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Drought in East Africa

The worst drought in 60 years has killed most livestock, and now thousands of helpless people. CURRENT NEWS What they are experiencing is simply beyond words.

A look at the droughts youngest victims...

Give me hope that help is coming - (and information where you can donate)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday Confession

I confess that I have been very negligent on my posts in the last week+. We have had 3 different flows of family visiting from out of town - with more to come! I may not be back to my regular posting until mid Aug.

I confess that all the late nights and visits etc. has completely caught up with me - rendering my brain to mush today. In fact I spelled the name Koonz to my sister as K0(zero)0(zero)nz. ??? lol

I confess that I just finally planted my planters. Yep - July 18th. 2 months behind. 

I confess that it still completely boggles my mind why some people continue to chatter about our adoption every time I turn around, but yet they are completely unwilling to directly ask us about the adoption. They obviously have a lot of questions since it seems to bother them so much - but they don't ask? Can someone explain this to me? I am the most open person... I am easy to talk to and am open to answering all questions about almost anything... Why don't they talk to us directly about this? I am frustrated that I can't find the logic in this. The only thing I can think of is they must associate the questions with the negative feelings they feel towards it, and don't want to display blatant disapproval? One would think, if they thought it was a good thing - they would have no problem talking to us openly about it? Ack.

I confess that I rented 2 movies from the lil machine at Safeway for $2/each to save money - but then forgot to return them twice - costing me $6/each. What a cost savings! Ha!

I confess that my house has turned into a child's chaotic oasis - with up to 7 other children from the block coming and going all day long. 

I confess that this only drives me nutz about 50% of the time.

I confess that I am looking forward to camping with my sister this weekend... kicking back, and cuddling with my new niece!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Learning to brush it off...

I haven't had much of a chance to post this week... partly due to some self reflection I have been doing. Now that our adoption has become more public, the school, our colleagues, and friends and family have all been made aware of our plans.

I have always worn my heart on my sleeve, and my personal close friends and family have been involved in this very long journey right along with us. The friends, family and members of our community we have not confided in throughout our process are perhaps caught off guard by this. People are clearly unaware of the process that we have been through to get here. I can understand that it may appear that we woke up one morning and just on a whim, decided to not only adopt from Africa, but to complete a residency there as well - without any consideration to the consequences it will have on our children, bank account and extended family. However, I can't help but also just shake my head at this. I feel that we deserve a little bit more credit than this. While I more than anything just want to come on here and post details about all that we have been through to get here -the 18 months wait list, the hours spent with the social worker over the last 5 months, the 6 week adoption education course, scrutiny by our agencies and governments etc..., and defend ourselves (notice how I just snuck all that in there? lol)... I am learning to brush it off. If someone is not willing to come forward with questions out of a genuine care and interest, I don't owe them an explanation. I realize we are embarking on a journey that will clearly make us a conspicuous family and this is just the beginning of having our family being the topic of conversation at the water cooler. I need to learn to really not care what they think... and honestly I thought I didn't. My struggle is learning to bite my tongue when I would love to offer my opinion in return.. and in reflection I realize that this clearly must indicate that I do care. Upon greater thought, I realize I am taking this very personally.... and how can I not? When I come across criticism, or even a complete lack of interest from others... I feel that they are attacking our future child. Clearly making me aware that this child is not only unwanted by them, but will also experience their negative attitude and disapproval.... and I will not let this happen. These people will be cut out of our lives... saving not only our adopted child from this negative environment, but our biological children as well. As any assault on our adopted child will also impact their brother and sister.

Fortunately... there are only a few rotten apples in the large amount of family and friends that are very supportive of our journey. We are clearly very blessed to be so lovingly supported by so many and meet more every day. Thank you to all that have our backs and are willing to share this journey with us! And to the rest... I really do feel sorry that you lack enough compassion to see what a wonderful thing this!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Kenya Adoption - further details.

I have been getting a lot of requests for information about the process and time lines. Now that we have made the leap, I have more details to share.

The fees are as follows:

Intercountry Fee - $6000
KKPI Fee - $2,500
Guardianship Fee - $375
Lawyer Fee - $3,200
Orphanage Assistance Fee - $1,500
African Development Fee - $2,000

Additional costs that I have already stumbled on are the 2 extra police checks and the stamping fee in Kenya.


Requested documents are as follows:

Criminal Record Check - which now not only needs to be done for the HS, but now at Dossier submission and prior to receiving the child.
Medical Reports - of parents and all children in the family
Financial Statement
Pay Slips and Bank Statements
Employment Verification Letter
Copy of Employer's Business Licence
Notice of Assessment
Deed of Home Ownership
Letter of Application to Kenya Authorities
Guardianship Letter (and notarized copy of Passports)
Post Placement Report Agreement
2 x Reference Letters - From a local religious leader, Commissioner of Oath, Notary Public or relevant Government Department
Birth Certificates - Adopting parents and all children
Marriage Certificate
Eleventh Schedule
Declaration of Religion (only if you are a practicing christian)

Once your dossier is completed, it is sent to Foreign Affairs and the Kenyan Embassy for legalization and authentication. Afterwhich it is sent to to the Ministry to be forwarded to our Kenyan agency - KKPI. I am told the timing of all this is approximately 5-7 weeks. Once in Kenya, it will have to be approved by the National Adoption Committee.

Once you have been approved by the authorities in Canada and Kenya, you can expect a referral within 60 days.

Once you have rec'd a referral, you have 3 months to move to Kenya. The Adoption Society will arrange pick up from the airport and will arrange or assist you with accommodations in addition to volunteering with orphanages etc.

Once you have arrived, a Social Worker will spend approximately 3 hours with you to certify you to become a Foster parent. At this point, you will visit the child in the orphanage for the next week or 2. Once the Social Worker is content that the child has started to bond with you, you will take the child home and begin your 3 month foster period. During this time, the Social Worker will make monthly visits. After your fostering period is over and an attachment/bond has formed, the court process will begin. My understanding is that this is approximately a 3 month process with a few hearings. Once you have been granted legal guardianship you wait for the Visa... which is approximately 9-12 weeks.

Yes, we are a pioneering family. We will be the first family to adopt from Kenya with Sunrise. Why does this not scare me in the least? Because I will be on the ground advocating for ourselves. I am much more comfortable with this as I am a control freak will have some control over this process. It is much more worrisome and feels helpless when you have no control over the process, being countries away. Having a physical presence can only work in ones favor, and I love the fact that I can be knocking at their door everyday for as long as necessary. Together, with our agency and KKPI, I have complete confidence that we can make this happen and leap over any roadblocks that we may be confronted with.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


I have been asked to make a guest appearance of a couple of my previous posts on the Adoption Magazine! Today is the scheduled posting of my original post Rich, Crazy or Angelic?
Head on over and check out the Adoption Magazine!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

It's official!

We did the Canadian race on Monday... raced to Kelowna, on to Vancouver - met with Sunrise Tuesday am. Had our biometric fingerprints done in the afternoon and raced all the way back home Tuesday afternoon, getting home at 2:30am!

We are now officially clients of Sunrise and are on the great Dossier chase... The women were lovely at Sunrise, and we are very happy with our move. (We were very happy with Choices as well... but are switching for the Kenya program.) We are going to collectively work together to try and get the adoption processed before Kenyan elections. Nothing like reaching for the moon and the stars! Good to have goals I guess, no matter how unobtainable they seem!

Some pictures to capture this day...

 Mister's idea of candy! Yum...

Love to eat fish - love to draw fish!

Canada Day in Photos...

Two amazing memories - meeting a lovely family with 2 of the most beautiful Ethiopian boys I may have ever laid eyes on... and witnessing the Katy Perry flash mob at the soccer fields after watching the fireworks... snuggled up in a blanket with the children! Awesome day!!